Archive for January, 2014

2014 Best Island Cruises Gallery

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Ready to set sail? From the big cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney and Princess to the smaller luxury ships, these are the 20 Best Caribbean Cruises of 2014.

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Why the Flight to Bali, Indonesia, Is Completely Worth It

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Over 36 hours of travel, five bad movies, seven airline meals and some broken plane sleep got me to Bali. But a couple Cokes and a Balinese Red Bull (no, that’s not a euphemism) are the real heroes for my long ride to the remote fishing village of Amed (pictured here).

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Destin Iced Over

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It does not happen often but it happened this week. Destin and the panhandle froze over. It started on Tuesday with daytime temps that stayed just above freezing all day while it rained on and off. We actually got a break because if it was a couple of degrees cooler we would have iced over with a lot of folks on the road. The rain did stop in the evening and as I went to sleep it was drying out due to a strong northern wind that was blowing.

The reports were for more rain and possibly snow overnight with dangerous road conditions Wednesday morning. I was awaken about 1 am with the sound of a strong rain storm…or it might have been sleet…I rolled over and went back to sleep figuring I would see when I got up for work.

I leave for work at 6 am. As I stepped outside the temp was 25 degrees and the driveway was a sheet of ice. I walked to the street in front of the house. It was iced over but it was very thin. I decided to take off and see what it was like. The backroads I have to take had some ice but also some puddles that were not frozen. I got up to Hwy. 98 without seeing another car on the road. As I turned onto 98 the road was a thick sheet of ice. I immediately started sliding around. I had the local radio station on and the DJ’s were relating their trip into the studio. Both bridges I have to take were open but very dangerous. The wind was howling and on the island the wind would break the car loose. I have 15 miles to go to work. I turned around and went back home. My plan was to wait till it warmed up and the streets thawed a little.

It was a good plan but we never warmed up all day. The highest it got to was 29 late in the afternoon. By 9:30 am all the bridges were closed. I could not go anywhere if I wanted to. Destin was cut off. We were really an island now. Same thing with Okaloosa Island. They were even cut off more as they are so small. The Ramada Inn bar was open as staff from Tuesday didn’t go home so they were there to keep the bar and restaurant open on Wednesday. The place was packed as no one had anywhere else to go. 

As the afternoon wore on, video’s and pictures started showing up on FB of people sledding down both the Destin and Brooks bridges. They were using boogie boards, lids from containers and even coolers…anything they could find. I have to hand it to Destin folks, we can make a party out of anything!

I know the people up in Atlanta had a horrific time with the storm. I have many friends up there and some were stranded on the highway’s all night. Luckily we were not that bad. Most everyone was shut down. Very few people were on the road. Some got stranded on one side of the bridge but that was about it. We had many fender benders but nothing serious. With so many roads closed including a stretch of Interstate 10 from the Alabama line eastward for about 100 miles, the authorities handled this very well. My hat’s off to them.

The ice should be gone today. We will get to almost 50 today and will be in the mid 60’s by Saturday. Everything will be back to normal as we will complain about the snowbirds driving slow in the left lane with their turn signal on! (Except for Alan!)

One last item…Sunshine Cindy and I went to Landshark Pizza on Monday. We were stopping in for a quick bite to eat but found the place to be packed. Turns out a birthday party for a local was going on. They then had Music Bingo from 7-9 pm. We stayed and enjoyed the fun. I had not done that before but it was a blast.

Okay, Super Bowl Sunday. Everyone have a good time. We will be at Sago Sports Bar to watch the game. See ya Monday!!!

Article source: http://destinsteve.blogspot.com/2014/01/destin-iced-over.html

VIDEO: Chile’s Warmest Secret

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Copyright © 2014 Islands. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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Best Cruises for Luxury

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You won’t find bargain-basement prices on a Spirit sailing, but what you will find is well worth the price tag: all-suite accommodations, a fold-out marina for water sports ranging from sailing to water skiing, and impeccable service on an overgrown yacht where the crew-to-passenger ratio is practically 1-to-1. Book Now.

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Why Guanaja, Honduras is a Waterman’s Paradise

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Privacy and comfort. That’s all I need to hear. A former vacation home, the Guanaja Fishing Lodge offers up just as much as a big-name resort, without the crowds and all the touches of home. (Well, if home had a private beach, four huge bedrooms and my own personal fishing deck.)

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Why Guanaja, Honduras is a Waterman’s Paradise

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Privacy and comfort. That’s all I need to hear. A former vacation home, the Guanaja Fishing Lodge offers up just as much as a big-name resort, without the crowds and all the touches of home. (Well, if home had a private beach, four huge bedrooms and my own personal fishing deck.)

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"Surviving" Peter Island Resort, BVI

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I didn’t need a banner to greet me upon arriving at Peter Island Resort Spa. This view over Deadman’s Bay was enough welcome. With 32 ocean-view rooms, 20 suites, three villas and private beaches in all directions, what could go wrong?

 

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Lulu’s coming to Destin?

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It was a wild few days in Destin with winter weather, a celebrity sighting and rumors about another Buffett sibling coming to Destin. I was talking to a guy on Friday night who told me Lucy Buffett (Jimmy Buffett’s sister) has signed a contract to open a Lulu’s restaurant/club in Destin on the bay side of town. This would make sense as for years we have heard rumors about Lucy planning to open another version of Lulu’s here to compliment her Gulf Shores, AL location. I plan to nose around and see if I can find out where this is going to be built but I have an idea. I will let everyone know what I find out.

The celebrity sighting was none other than Jimmy Buffett himself. Monday last week a guy I know was making a delivery down on the harbor. He was near the new Margaritaville when he saw a guy standing by himself talking on the phone. He thought the guy looked familiar…maybe a client. So he walked up to the guy and the guy just turned to him and said, “Yes, it’s me!” It was Jimmy Buffett. They talked for a while. Jimmy told him he was coming back for the grand opening and he might bring a musician friend. Maybe Mac will be coming with him. How cool was that chance encounter.

The winter weather we endured was some snow in the area with some sleet falling in Destin last Friday. There were pictures of some ice crystals on a tarp. Yes, that passes for a major event in Destin in the winter. I am not sure how we survived. We are actually under a winter storm watch for Tuesday. We have a chance for some more ice crystals to fall in Destin with some real snow falling farther inland. Hurry up summer and come back!

For Sunshine Cindy and I, it was a Sago Sports Bar kind of weekend. Friday night was the ECPHC monthly phlocking at Sago. Jan Patton with help from Kenny were playing the Trop Rock tunes. A big crowd of Parrotheads were there taking in some good food and cheap drinks. We ended up being the last ones out before they closed the doors behind us! LOL

Saturday night we went back to “Embrace the Chaos!” at Sago for a Crab Island Mambo hockey night party. We had a fun group show up to root the Tampa Bay Lightning on. With a 80 inch HDTV to watch the game, we were in heaven. Loren took good care of our group. The Lightning won and we once again were the last people to leave Sago. I think they were going to start charging us rent since we were in there so much.

Sunday saw Sunshine Cindy and the girls from the wedding party go to Pensacola to look at wedding dresses. They were gone all day. I was a couch potato just relaxing all day. It felt good to do nothing.

It will be interesting to see if we get any of the wintery weather they are forecasting. I will have a full report on Thursday. See ya then!

Article source: http://destinsteve.blogspot.com/2014/01/lulus-coming-to-destin.html

VIDEO: Sandals Resorts Creates Caribbean Destination Weddings

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Need something blue? Sandals can help bring your ocean-side Caribbean destination wedding to life. From choosing colors and cakes to picking the perfect gazebo on the beach, the wedding team does it all. The best part is you can step off the altar and into the sand to begin your honeymoon right at the resort. All it takes is a yes.

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